A new program with an impressive success rate is underway at Alvin Community College, where veterans are receiving training to get good-paying jobs in the petrochemical industry as pipefitters and welders.
Teresa Grace is the Grant Coordinator for the Petrochem Veterans Initiative Grant. She told the Construction Citizen team that more than 150 veterans have been trained in the program since it started in the end of 2014. “Veterans have demonstrated discipline, work ethic, leadership, are quick learners and they have the skills employers want,” Grace said.
The program involves fast track training in pipefitting and welding in which students train for 5 weeks for a total of 160 classroom hours. The grant pays for tuition and fees.
“I have reached out to employers and have invited them to visit the college and speak to our veteran students about job opportunities,” Grace said. “Our students are getting hired with Bechtel, S&B Engineers, Performance Contractors, Infinity Group, Zachry and other contractors in the area.”
One of those students, Guillermo Marquez, was in the Army for 8 years and has previously worked as a painter. “The Workforce Commission was promoting the classes and I decided to take it because I wanted to learn more," he said. "I'm learning pipefitting. It's tougher but I'm willing to do it because that paycheck is going to be pretty good," Marquez said. Read more » about At Alvin Community College, Veterans Learning Critical Skills for Good-Paying Jobs [VIDEO]